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NBC's 'Blindspot' Is Back to the Future
October 27, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Blindspot has reset itself with a bang. Make that an explosion.

NBC’s crime/action/mystery drama has essentially blown everything up as it launches its third season this week in a new 8 p.m. ET Friday timeslot.

Blindspot is all about secrets,” creator Martin Gero told TV writers Wednesday, “and at the end of two seasons and 45 episodes with these characters, we knew all their secrets. So we wanted to give them some new ones.”

And not gradually. So that whole new set of secrets cascades down in Friday’s first episode, which plays like a big-screen action movie.

It’s hard to think of a prime-time show that has done a more crashing and abrupt reset, with the possible exception of Blindspot’s NBC sibling The Good Place.

Blindspot’s core mystery, since its spectacular opening scene three years back, has revolved around the mysterious tattoos found all over the body of Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander, top) when she emerged from a duffel bag in Times Square.

The tattoos offered a series of troubling clues that led to the formation of an FBI task force headed by Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton, right) and also including agent Edgar Reade (Rob Brown), agent Tasha Zapata (Audrey Esparza) and computer whiz Patricia Patterson (Ashley Johnson).

Over the first two seasons, they gradually figured out that the tattoos led to a lethal conspiracy planned by the terrorist group Sandstorm under the direction of Jane’s adoptive mother Shepherd (Michelle Hurd).

Jane had been part of Sandstorm. Then her memory was erased before she was tattooed and left in that bag in Times Square.

She eventually won the trust of Weller’s FBI unit, not to mention the heart of Weller himself. At the end of last season they finally got to Shepherd, but not before we met Jane’s brother Roman (Luke Mitchell), who was still in Sandstorm.

As this new season begins, Roman is still around and last season’s efforts by Jane and the FBI to rehab him seem to have had, at best, mixed results.

The real reset for the new season, however, is that we’ve leapt some two years into the future, where we learn that the task force broke up after the Shepherd resolution and all its members scattered to the wind.

Now a new threat has brought them all back together, and we quickly realize they’ve spent the last two years developing new lives and forging new secrets. Did we mention that Jane also has some new involuntary ink?

“A lot has happened,” Brown (left) told TV writers. “I feel like I know my character a lot less now than I did in the first two seasons.”

The show has also physically expanded. While the first two seasons were centered in New York with occasional field trips, the new threats, mysteries, and secrets will take our team to five continents this season. And they won’t just be visiting museums.

The first episode includes an extended sequence in Venice, starting in the famed Piazza San Marco and continuing with a wild boat chase through the canals.

That part wasn’t easy to arrange, Alexander notes, because the Venetians are vigilant about speed limits in waterways. They got dispensation, however, and Alexander adds that while most people would assume the boat was piloted by a stunt double, she drove this one herself.

Shooting overseas in general, Gero half-jokes, was a bit of a challenge “because the relationship between the United States and every other country in the world is strained right now.”

But the location shots add to the sense, at least in the first episode, that Blindspot has gotten bigger. There are lots of explosions, lots of fights, and a marked escalation in the characters’ attitude.

In the tradition of classics like the first couple of Lethal Weapon movies, the characters slip in little self-aware smiles and nods that say, yeah, we know we just did something cool.

Gero frames the international expansion as just a natural step in the show’s evolution.

“We always knew that after two seasons we would have revealed all the secrets,” he says. “This is another way to refresh the image.”

There’s also been one addition to the new task force lineup. Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer, left), who started on the show as a one-shot computer-whiz criminal, proved so popular he’s been promoted onto the team.

Esmer told writers he was as shocked as anyone by that happy turn of events. He also told writers, during an extended exchange with the whole cast about who had real-life tattoos, that one of the best decisions of his life came when he was 17 and having a weekend with a couple of high school buddies.

“Instead of getting a Wu-Tang Clan tattoo,” he said, “I got a Wu-Tang Clan t-shirt.”

During that same discussion, Alexander revealed she herself has 12 real-life tattoos, “including one really big one.”

In the larger picture, Blindspot has two missions this season.

One is to track down the bad guys who pose this latest threat to the well-being of the planet.

The other is to draw enough viewers on a Friday night, which often is seen in the TV biz as the first step toward the end of the line, to keep the show going.

No one can say they’re not giving it all they’ve got.

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No mention of the change in style to a more frivolous and cartoon like atmosphere? It was so bad I kept thinking the reveal would be 'this is all a dream'. What a terrible soft reboot - this seasons premiere is the last I will ever watch of this once interesting show. Should have been cancelled if this is the best that they can come up with. And you need to be more critical and informative when shows jump the shark like this - or did you just not even see it?
Nov 1, 2017   |  Reply
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